Music News

Estonian National Male Choir 65

On October 17 and 18, Estonian National Male Choir (RAM) will celebrate its 65th anniversary with two concerts entitled RAM – And What It Contains in Pärnu and Tallinn.

Estonian National Male Choir
Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

The aim of the concerts is to introduce to the audience besides well-known choir also different soloists and ensembles. The choir, conducted by its chief conductor Ants Soots, will perform choral music by Kuldar Sink, Evald Aav, Ester Mägi, Eduard Tubin, Gustav Ernesaks, Veljo Tormis, Alfred Karindi and Konstantin Türnpu. Soloists Aleksandr Mikhailov, Andres Alamaa and Olari Viikholm and ensembles Royal Quintet and Improloo will perform music by Giuseppe Verdi, Gaetano Donizetti, Mart Saar, Henry Mancini and Imre Kálmán (piano/organ accompaniment by Siim Selis).

Concerts will take place on October 17 at 7 pm at Pärnu Concert Hall and October 18 at 3 pm at Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn, the concerts will be hosted by choir singer Alo Rammo.

The Estonian National Male Choir is currently the largest full-time professional male choir in the world. Founded in 1944 by the legendary composer and leader of the Estonian choral movement, Gustav Ernesaks, the choir has since been conducted by Olev Oja, Kuno Areng, Ants Üleoja, Ants Soots and Kaspars Putninsh (Latvia). Since 2008, the artistic director is Ants Soots.

Over its 60 years of existence, Estonian National Male Choir has performed more than 6000 concerts all across Estonia, the former Soviet Union, many Western European countries, Israel, Canada and the United States. Besides the a cappella choral music, the repertoire also includes over 30 large-scale works for choir and orchestra. The choir has worked together with such guest conductors like Lev Sivuhhin, Robert Sund, Josep Prats, Roman Toi, Chifuru Matsubara, Kaspars Putninsh, Anatoly Grindenko, Lone Larsen, Timothy Brown, Vytautas Mishkinis, Toomas Siitan, Jaan-Eik Tulve, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Kristjan Järvi, Eri Klas, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Riccardo Muti, Paavo Berglund, Leif Segerstam, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Saulius Sondeckis, Leo Krämer, Christoph Spering, Gintaras Rinkevičius, Arvo Volmer, Andres Mustonen, Paul Mägi, Jüri Alperten, Vello Pähn, Tõnu Kaljuste, Nikolai Aleksejev and many others.

Over the last 5 years, Estonian National Male Choir has recorded 12 CD-s for Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Virgin, Finlandia, CCn’C, Forte, Alba and other record labels. In 2004, Estonian National Male Choir together with girls’ choir Ellerhein and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paavo Järvi, won a Grammy Award in the category of „Best Choral Performance” for their recording of Sibelius’s Cantatas (Virgin Classics, 2003). A year later their recording of Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” (recorded by the same line-up) was voted the orchestral album of the year in BBC Music Magazine.

Agnes Toomla